A talk given following initiation in Santa Barbara, Ca., December 1963
We are all here for the same Cause of the Master. We have been put on the Way, the Way that is the Path Divine; and that is the most natural. Even a child can follow it and derive benefit from it. Each one of you has been initiated, and you have had some inner experience with which to start. But that alone won’t do. A satsangi cannot become a satsangi in one day, I tell you. You have been put on the Way to be a satsangi. A satsangi means one who is in constant contact with God. You have been put on the Way. That you have to develop so much that you always live in awareness as a conscious co-worker of the Divine Plan. For that, a time factor is necessary. “Rome was not built in a day.” When a man is initiated, it is not the end-all; it is just the commencement. We should develop further with due regard to our everyday life. Truth is above all, but true living is still above Truth: the way we mete out our lives to others. When we are all children of God, then we are all brothers and sisters in God. All Masters teach us to love God and to love all His creatures, whether they are neighbors or animals. So love is the way back to God. And love knows — what? Unity, not duality. Love is a power that unifies, not divides into parties.
We are all here, as I told you, for the same common Cause we have before us. We must work shoulder to shoulder. To work shoulder to shoulder, one thing is required: have appreciation for everyone and for what he does. If anyone is doing something on the Way, we should appreciate it. And appreciation comes only when you have love. Even if you think you are doing more and the other is doing less, still you can appreciate that he is doing something on the Way. So, first of all, we should learn to appreciate what one another is doing. If you want to be more on the Way or to progress more quickly, then if anyone is doing more, you should also do more. There should be no competition. If one man is working and another helps him — if two men are working in the same way — two halves together make a lemon. For the sake of appreciation, if one man thinks his is the better way, and the other thinks his is the better way, then they must privately come to some conclusion together to know what to do.
The regular Satsangs, the group meetings, should not take the form of discussions. The Satsangs should not be debating clubs. They should deal only with either meditation or about God or God in men or the science of the Word, or Naam: what things help us on the Way; what things stand in the way. Only this should form the subject of the Satsang. No other subject. This is what is called “Spirituality.” Spirituality means: who you are, what you are, what your connection is with the man-body you are carrying, what your connection is with all the world around you, and what your connection is with the Overself, God. Pure and simple, this is what is called Spirituality. For that purpose, you have been initiated and given a contact with the Light and Sound Principle of Word or God-into-Expression Power. Go on with it. Spirituality means only that, and that should form the subject of all Satsangs.
Those who are going to talk should come prepared for a particular talk they have to give; they should not speak offhand. A man speaking offhand can sometimes make many mistakes, and the people who are attending sometimes take their misconceptions. We have not yet become Masters. Whatever Masters speak is the Truth, because They see. We who are on the Way should come prepared. That will make us perfect in due course of time. And let no other subject than Spirituality be discussed in the Satsangs. There are other subjects: with due deference to them, let them go.
There is education; there is spiritism and-the like — mesmerism or hypnotism or spiritualism. These are side issues, with due deference to them all, they should have formed separate subjects of separate meetings. In the Satsang, there should be Spirituality, pure and simple. Those who want to speak should speak on this subject only. We are mostly concerned with that. That is the way back to God, with due deference to other branches of the subject.
But one thing must be there — we should learn to appreciate each other. Appreciation will bring with it more cooperation. One person says, “That is wrong,” and the other says, “No, that is wrong.” Well, there is nothing wrong; in their own way they are right, you see. But what we are concerned with in the Satsang is pure Spirituality.
So you are here. I wish you all to be regular in attending the group meetings. Help each other — help each other; love each other; appreciate each other. We are all on the Way.
But, as I told you, in the Satsangs, Spirituality, pure and simple, is to be discussed. There are other subjects, with due deference to them; let them form the topic of separate meetings. For the time being, you have one hour. Some time should be spent in meditation; that is most important. And the second thing is just to read out from some scriptures that we already have with us. Also, you already have some books on the subject written in English by me, too; and there are others as well. But these are purely concerned with these subjects: what things are retarding factors on the Way; how the mind is led away by the outgoing faculties; how best the association, the company of others, affects us — something like that.
There is also the importance of attending the group meetings. That will give you a regular impetus to be on the Way. “Where more than one man sits in my name,” Christ said, “I am there.” It works there by radiation.
This is all I want of you who are here — each one of you. Those who are here now or even absent — never mind — should have group meetings regularly. And there is also something more to be mentioned.
Suppose we get some medicine; we should not put it away on a shelf, but we should use it. Christ gave a parable of the talents. One man was given twenty talents, another thirty, and a third only five. After some time, the man who gave them the talents returned and inquired what had been done with them. The man who had had thirty had made sixty; the other who had had twenty had made forty. He was pleased, and he gave them more. But the one who had had only five, had just put them away someplace and had not used them at all. This is what is meant now: what you got at initiation is only for developing further. And if it is developed, you will gain much for your own benefit. You will progress, and you will earn the pleasure of the Master for nothing. So develop what you have been given from day to day by regular practice.
In the old days, Masters used to first prepare men for this higher Truth, and then They gave it; but the times have changed. In the old days, people spent months and months together sitting at the feet of the Master; and only after that, when they were considered fit were they given something with which to go on. But the times have changed now. We are to prepare men and, at the same time, also give them something with which to proceed within.
For that reason, self-introspection is very much needed. To help you, I have prescribed daily diaries of personal introspection. Maintain them. That will be a great helping factor. That will make you regular. If you have not done anything, put in nil, and send me the diary blank. I will accept it blank; but how will you dare to send me a blank one every month? I don’t think you will; naturally, you will see what you are doing, and morally you will feel that you are not doing right; you will begin to be regular. But the mind deceives you. It says, “No, only when you have developed send the diary in. Why worry now? If the mind allows you to develop, then you can send it in.” That is the reason why I found that some initiates are at the same level they were when I was here eight years ago; some even lost ground; and others were even led away to other things. What is the reason why? Because What they got they did not use. They were not convinced of the Truth, of their progress, because they did not put in time for meditation. And they never cared about how they were living; they let loose all their senses. The result is that there is no progress. And if someone else says, “There is a better way,” they go there. For that, I would request you, if you find anything better, please tell me. As I told you before, we are all after Truth; and if there is anything more truthful, then, naturally, everyone would like it; and I would be the first man to have it. When you find any higher Truth, if you go on regularly with it, you will progress from day to day; you will your own self testify that you are on the Way. When you get something to start with, the very first day of initiation, what more do you want? It is a clear proof that there is a substantial something on the Way, and you have been put on it. The Grace of God has given you a man-body; and it is with the Grace of God that you have met Somebody at Whose pole He is working; and that that God Power has been able to give you some experience. And now your own grace is required on your own self. If the Grace of God is there and even the Grace of the Godman is there, and you don’t have grace on your own self, then the two graces do not bear full fruit. So we should live up to what we are told.
For that, maintenance of the self-introspection diaries is a necessity if there is anything blocking your progress, submission of the diaries at regular intervals will help clear it up, because in that way you’ll be guided where you err: not that we meet after eight years and you say something about it then. God knows whether we physically will meet again or not. If you remain in touch through correspondence, you will be guided then and there. And you will also know where you stand.
Why are you not progressing? Take one thing at a time and see what it is: not two, three, or four things at a time. “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” You know definitely, according to the teachings of the Masters, that you have been put on the Way. You have had some experience of Light and some experience of Sound. That has to be developed. If you put in regular time, with due regard to your self-introspection, there is no reason why you should not progress further. If not, there is something wrong. It might be that you have too many irons in the fire. Do one thing at a time, and you will progress.
My wishes will be with you. Remain in contact, and I hope you will get further guidance also. The diaries are only to make you regular. They act in a very harmless way, without telling you any harsh words or anything like that. And that is to your own interest.
This is the Bread of Life and the Water of Life. It is food to the spirit. This spiritual food gives you spiritual health. And on spiritual health depends the health of both the mind and the body.
In my two talks here, I gave out the same subject and also what is required to go further inside to contact the Word Power. On initiation you also had some experience of it, and others who also attended the meditation period had some experience, with the Grace of God. This is something that will be with you here and hereafter. This is the most important part of the show. “Is not life more than meat, and the body more than raiment?” [ Matthew 6:25]
We have done so much for the physical body and the intellect; but we must do something for our own spirit, too. For that, you have been given the Bread of Life and the Water of Life. The more you give It, the stronger you win be. The result of coming in Contact with it is that you will be in the world, yet not affected by the world. In due course, you will come to know that it is the God Power which is working in you, not you. You will become a conscious co-worker of the Divine Plan. You will see that it is the same Truth, the same Light and Sound Principle, reverberating within you and in all of creation. That will cause you to lose your ego. When your ego is gone, then what are you? You are to be physically and intellectually still, and you will know that you are God.
The point is, God is Light and we are also Light. But our Light is enshrouded or enveloped by so many different coverings. We have now begun to know how we can shake off the iron curtain of the body.
Every man who has the man-body has the birthright to know God, I would say. And for that purpose you have joined various religions. Blessed you are. But you have to take up that which is the basic teaching of all religions. All Masters gave out that Cod is Light; that God is Sound Principle; that that is the way back to the wordless state of God. You have been given that, and the God Power will help you. He is always all along with you. And my best wishes are with you; that’s all I can say.
But one thing, again, may I emphasize. Have appreciation for everybody’s work. Don’t depreciate others. Some people try to appreciate their own selves and depreciate others: “Such and such is not doing right; I am doing right.” The result is, how can hearts come together? Have appreciation; whatever a man does, appreciate — “that’s all right; go ahead” — And moreover, “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of theories — Example is better than precept.” If you don’t live that way, what right have you to tell others to live that way? We say something ill of others. As I told you in the beginning, we must observe nonviolence in mind, word, and deed: not to think evil of others; not to talk evil of others; and not to see the evil of others, I would say; not to hear the evil of others. In that way you will be saved from the poisonous effect conveyed to you through the mouths and ears and the eyes of others. That will safeguard you against, or help you to avoid, any detrimental effect to your spiritual way of living. Thoughts are even more potent than words, I would say. Even if you think evil of somebody, it will carry an effect.
Akbar the Great, the great emperor of India, had a minister named Birbal. Birbal told him, “Whatever you think about anybody, he will think the same about you.” Akbar the Great said, “How can that be proved?” Birbal said, “All right, we’ll go outside for awhile, and you will see for your own self.“
They went out together, Akbar the Great was walking bareheaded. At a distance of about 200 to 300 yards, a man was coming down the road. The minister told the emperor, “Just think something about that man in your mind; and when he comes here, ask him what he had thought of you when he had his first glimpse of you.“
Akbar the Great thought, “Well all right; if he comes by, I will kill him; I will shoot him.“
When the man was passing by, the emperor said, “Stop, please.” — “Yes?“
. . . “I excuse you; but if you don’t mind, tell me exactly what struck your mind when you looked at me for the first time?“
— “Well, Emperor, forgive me; I would say, I thought your head was very round; I wanted to break it with my fist.“
So thoughts are more potent than other thugs. Never think that when you think evil about others it does not affect you. It affects you and the other person, too. There is a reaction there, and it cannot make you better. Always have appreciation, always have love, for others. If there is a shortcoming anywhere, try to reconcile it. Forgive and forget. That will safeguard you against any pinching effects of the poison conveyed to you through the mouth, ears, or eyes of others. Don’t believe what others say. Don’t believe what they say they have seen. Don’t look through the eyes and the ears of others. This is the only thing that creates so many misconceptions; and it proves to be very detrimental to our own progress on the Way. If anyone thinks evil of you, don’t you think evil of him. Blood cannot be washed away by blood, but by the sweet waters of love. This we have to learn. And on the spiritual way, this is most important. Otherwise, you cannot progress.
Further, know that whatever you are doing, it is by the Grace of God. Thank God that He is taking that work from you. If one, two, three or more men are working on the Way, go shoulder to shoulder; put your shoulders to the wheel. This is the spirit in which we have to work. And that will prove, I think, beneficial to your own self — to your own progress, and to others’, too.
So that God Power or Christ Power or Guru Power, by Whose Grace you have had some experience within you, is all along with you: it resides in the initiate from the time he is put on the Way, and never leaves him until he reaches the True Home of the Father. This is why Christ said,
I shall never leave thou forsake thou till the end of the world.
So, as I told you, first of all, show appreciation. Then it become an example. “An example is better than precept.” And further, control your thoughts. They play havoc, by reaction. Just take the example of a pepper seed: you put it underground; that pepper seed derives all the bitterness from the ground around it. If you just put an apple or a mango seed under the ground, it contract all the sweetness of the ground. One evil thought that is striking within you gathers all evil thoughts in the atmosphere. You become mad. Excuse me, but when a man is thinking something evil, he becomes very vehement. If you think good others, you will naturally feel serenity and peace.
This is, I think, the basic thing. If you go by it, God will help you, and you will progress from day to day; you will prove beneficial to your own self and to all those with whom you come in contact. And as I told you, even if anyone thinks evil of you, don’t think evil of them. That will save you from reactions.
Once, some man went to Lord Buddha and called Him angry names. When it became night and he saw it was all dark, the man turned to go. Then Lord Buddha said, “Well, dear friend, wait a minute.” — “Now what have you to say?” said the man. Lord Buddha said, “If anyone brings a present to someone and he does not accept it, with whom will it remain?” Naturally the reply was, “With the man who brought it.” Lord Buddha said, “Dear friend, what you have brought as a present for me, I don’t accept.“
That can save you. That is the lesson given to me by my Master if anyone thinks evil, don’t think evil of him. All sorts of people come to the Satsang, some to appreciate and others to find fault. My Master wrote me, “If a bad man does not leave off his bad habits, should you leave off your good habits?” We must improve: that is some of the reason why, when we are going on the Way, our progress is slow and is sometimes even stopped. So self-introspection in word, deed, and thought is most necessary.
I have to go now. I wish you all God bless you. Go on amicably, putting your shoulders to the wheel.